Destrehan marches into playoffs

Red hot Lady Wildcats have won 24 games in a row

The Destrehan Lady Wildcats have been on fire for the last three months and look to continue demolishing opponents in the Class 5A playoffs.

Destrehan hasn’t lost a basketball game since Nov. 25 and received a No. 6 playoff seed after winning the District 7-5A championship with a perfect 14-0 record.

With a 27-1 record and on a 24-game winning streak including a sweep of the district, the team has been nearly perfect. Now they face their third playoff appearance in three years when they take on No. 27 Haughton this Friday.

Destrehan head coach Angi Butler said her team has continued to improve over the season largely due to their ability to work together as a unit.

“I believe it’s our ability to play as a team that has got us this far. The girls have great chemistry and know the importance of using our team’s individual talents to improve every game,” she said. “Our ability to run the ball up the court and create turnovers has been one of our better attributes this season and our defense has improved tremendously.”

With the playoffs just starting, Butler has been quick to remind her players that although they have had a remarkable season thus far it can all be over with just one bad game. “I have explained to the girls that it’s playoffs. You lose, you’re out. Every team is in the playoffs for a reason and no one is to be taken for granted,” she said.

The Lady Wildcats will face a test in the matchup against Haughton, whose 28-8 record does not reflect their real talent as many of their losses came when key players were injured.  

Butler said the Haughton players have physical advantages, such as height, as well as an aggressive playing style that may prove difficult for her team to handle.

“They are extremely talented and like to run a man-to-man defense,” she said. “They have some height underneath and they will drive to the goal when given the opportunity. In order to beat them we’re going to have to keep them out of the paint, minimize our turnovers and be consistent with our shots.”

No matter what happens, Butler said she is very proud of the way her team has played thus far.

“The girls have worked extremely hard to get where they are this season. This is the second year in a row that we have won the district championship title. I’m extremely proud of my girls, but now is when the real work comes into play,”

she said. “Our goal is to take one game at a time, and give 110 percent every game. We are going to stay focused and remember to humble ourselves because every team is beatable, including us. We started this season off strong and we plan to finish off even stronger.” 

 Overall, Butler said the team is looking to overcome the past two seasons in which they were knocked out of the first round, but still emphasizes that they have to take it one game at a time.

“Our ultimate goal is to get to the final four. We know we have the potential to make it to the state playoffs, we just have to stay focused and remain determined to play to our best ability each and every game,” she said.

The Lady Wildcats will take on Haughton at 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 21 at R.K. Smith Middle School.

See the playoff bracket on 2B for all playoff matchups.

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